Hello, ESPers worldwide!
In the first week of September 2015, I had the opportunity to go to Sydney, Australia! At the University of Sydney, I participated in workshops (presented by Patsy Duff and Aek Phakiti) and a TESOL research colloquium. Two days later, I visited Macquarie University, where I attended a presentation (by Patsy Duff) and discussed my future research. (Note: I obtained my PhD in linguistics from Macquarie University under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Christopher Candlin, who passed away this year, and Dr. Alan Jones.) In this TESOL Blog post, I share some of my adventures down under.
I arrived in Sydney on a Thursday. On Friday morning at around 7:45 am, I got on a bus bound for the University of Sydney. Thanks to the kind assistance of a local resident, I got off the bus at the correct bus stop. After purchasing a cup of coffee and a cinnamon crepe at a coffee shop on campus, I was ready to start the day! (I quickly learned to order “flat white“!)
As I walked across campus from the coffee shop to the Faculty of Education building (in the photo above), I tried unsuccessfully to recognize the sounds of the birds in the area. The experience reminded me of being back home in California at the San Diego Zoo. I later took a photo of an Australian white ibis on campus. (I also saw these birds in the central business district of Sydney. In addition, one Macquarie University doctoral student shared that she had asked a professor if the numerous birds on the M.U. campus are raised by the school. “We are not a farm,” was the reply.)
The two precolloquium workshops I attended are described on the colloquium website. They were both excellent!
“Doing and reviewing ethnographic research in second-language and literacy education”
|Professor Patricia Duff, Department of Language & Literacy Education, The University of British Columbia|
“Developing a questionnaire for TESOL research”
|Dr Aek Phakiti,Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney|
The next day was the research colloquium. (See the colloquium website.)
This popular annual colloquium provides a forum for discussing and sharing research in the area of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), as well as exploring possible future research collaborations.The event is a place for networking, for both established and new TESOL researchers, and includes presentation sessions on a wide range of TESOL and TESOL-related research – both in progress and completed – as well as opportunities for informal discussions among people working in the area of TESOL research.
Brian Paltridge opened the event, and Patsy Duff followed as the first keynote speaker. As in any good conference, there were outstanding presentations, wonderful networking opportunities, and impressive book promotions, not to mention the free food and drink! The colloquium (and the workshops above) were also free!
In addition, at the colloquium, I met face-to-face for the first time many people with whom I had only communicated online. There was not enough time for me to meet everyone.
On the Monday that followed the Saturday colloquium, I took a train to Macquarie University railway station. From the station, I walked the short distance to Macquarie University (see photos below), where Patsy Duff gave a presentation in an impressive, high-tech room. At Macquarie, I could see many well-known scholars including Stephen Moore, Phil Benson, Phil Chappell, Peter Roger, and Mehdi Riazi, in whose office I was able to talk with Patsy Duff.
So what did I learn as an ESPer from my experiences in Sydney? Firstly, I was reminded that there are many outstanding TESOL scholars doing impressive work inside and outside of Australia! Further, there is much that we can learn from each other, so such conferences are very important. I also think that linguistic ethnography and professional communication research are especially important!
On a personal note, I was pleased to see the conceptualization of leadership being promoted at the University of Sydney—”Leadership for good”! As I was walking to the building where I would be giving a presentation on the discourses of leadership as the basis and means for training L2 learners in Japan, I saw posters on the windows of another building on campus. (See the photo below.)
The contents of the posters above appear on a University of Sydney website promoting the success stories of the school’s alumni. Accordingly, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to end my presentation with a comment on this conceptualization of leadership!
Do you ever wonder why leaders are successful in achieving visions in collaboration with others? An article titled “Do You Have Grit?”, written by Dr. Travis Bradberry, addresses this question. In the ESP project leader profile of Jaclyn Gishbaugher, Jackie also mentions “grit”:
How would you define leadership?
Leaders are those people who draw in people to their cause/belief/field through their sincerity, passion, and grit. Then they give those individuals just the right mix of confidence and opportunity to push the boundaries that much further.
Do you see discourses of “grit” and “leadership for good” when you read the ESP project leader profiles in my TESOL Blog posts?
Finally, visit Sydney if you have the chance! It will do you good as you realize together with Dorothy that you are not in Kansas anymore! You are in the land of….so have a flat white!
All the best,
Bradberry, T. (2015). Do you have grit? Pulse. Linkedin.
Coming Soon – Routledge Introductions to English for Specific Purposes (Series Editors: Brian Paltridge, University of Sydney, and Sue Starfield, University of New South Wales) https://www.routledge.com/series/Riesp